The London 2012 Olympic Torch features 8,000 small cut-out circles, representing the 8,000 inspirational people who will carry it on its journey around the UK. It was designed by east Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who won the opportunity through a competitive tender run by the London 2012 Organising Committee and the Design Council.
The design, engineering and manufacture of the Torch celebrates the best of British talent. Barber and Osgerby worked closely with Basildon-based product engineers Tecosim and Coventry manufacturers Premier Sheet Metal to develop the prototypes for the Torch. The mass production of the Torches will start at the end of 2011.
Design: an inspirational 8,000
The Torch is made up of an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin, held in place by a cast top piece and base, perforated by 8,000 circles. Representing the inspirational stories of the 8,000 Torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame, the circles which run the length of the body of the Torch also offer a unique level of transparency. You can see right to the heart of the Torch and view the burner system which will keep the Olympic Flame alive.
The circles also help ensure heat is quickly dissipated, without being conducted down the handle, and providing extra grip. The Torch stands 800mm high.
The Torch is being tested in BMW’s climatic testing facility in Munich to make sure it can withstand all weather conditions. BMW is a Supporting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
Shape: The Power of '3'
The triangular-shaped Torch was inspired by a series of 'threes' that are found in the history of the Olympic Games and the vision for the Olympic Movement:
The three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship;
The three words that make the Olympic motto – faster, higher, stronger;
The fact that the UK has hosted the Olympic Games in 1908, 1948 and will host them for the third time in 2012; and
The vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three bodies of work – sport, education and culture.
Weight: As Light as Possible
More than half of the London 2012 Torchbearers are expected to be young people aged as young as 12, so the designers aimed to make the Torch as light as possible.
It is made from an special aluminium alloy developed for the aerospace and automotive industry. The alloy is lightweight but strong, with excellent heat resistance. The 8,000 circles also reduce the weight of the final design, whilst ensuring strength isn’t compromised. The Torch weighs 800 grams.
The gold colour embraces the qualities of the Olympic Flame – the brightness and the warmth of the light that it shines.